This year we decided to visit a special destination in the Caribbean: the island of Anguilla. Anguilla is considered one of the Caribbean pearls for its 33 white sandy beaches. For this trip to the Caribbean with children we choose Anguilla for its immaculate beaches. While on this trip we also visit the island of Saint Martin, which is a choice almost obliged by the fact that this island has an airport very well served by flights from Europe. Saint Martin has the particularity of being an island divided between France and Holland. We decide to spend 10 nights in Anguilla and 5 nights in Saint Martin.
This is our first trip with our little Andrea, a child of only a year and a half, plus it’s also his first trip by plane. A first flight by plane that lasts about 11 hours! So for us and for him it is a journey of continuous discovery of new things and new experiences.
The plane is an indescribable experience: Andrea likes it immediately and is pampered by the hostesses and we spend a few hours walking continuously along the corridors. Then he falls asleep blissfully. For children, time zone changes and jet lag are not a problem at all, they adapt immediately to the new time. The flight takes us to the Franco-Dutch island of Saint Martin where there is a large airport well connected with flights from Europe. On the other hand, the island of Anguilla has a small airport with only local flights. For those who arrive in Saint Martin by plane it is very convenient to take a private boat or the ferry to get to Anguilla.
A TRANSFER WITH A MOTORBOAT
Once at Saint Martin airport, we take advantage of the convenient private boat services that for about 65US $ cost of the ticket for an adult one way (young children pay 15US $ one way, slightly older children around 30US $). between Saint Martin and Anguilla. You can book the service on the internet, and we recommend doing so, but you will still find someone at the airport who offers you the service. They will take you with a small bus to the boarding point which is a few hundred meters from the airport exit. The passage by private speedboat between Saint-Martin and Anguilla lasts about 20 minutes.
An alternative to the speedboat service is the ferry which however leaves from the port of Marigot in the French part of the island. The ferry service is much cheaper than the speedboat (15US $ one way for adults and 10US $ one way for children). But you will have to take a taxi or a rental car to reach the port of Marigot which is located on the other side of the island. The ferry trip between Saint Martin and Anguilla lasts about 25 minutes.
CAR RENTAL, DRIVING IS ON THE LEFT
Both the motorboat and the ferry arrive at the port of Blowing Point in Anguilla. Here we are waiting for the car we rented on Rental Cars. Renting a car will prove to be a must in order to be able to visit the island completely and allow us to visit every day a different beach of the island. Beyond all the rental car is very convenient to go to shopping at the supermarket … Remember that in Anguilla driving is to the left side as in Great Britain! But traffic is virtually non-existent so even driving on the left is not a problem at all.
In Anguilla we decide to stay at the Carimar Beach Club, a great property located directly on Meads Bay Beach with a beautiful garden and fully stocked apartments, better than at home. The choice of apartments proved to be successful because it allowed us to freely spend our holidays in Anguilla and to be free to prepare meals without limitations. Very important thing with a little child. Along the beach there are sunbeds and umbrellas available for guests of the structure. But the structures of Anguilla are many and all very beautiful, here you will find a selection of Hotels on the island.
For the purchase of food, the island is well equipped with department stores where you will find everything. A couple of kilometers from the hotel there is a small supermarket run by Chinese people. Otherwise in the capital The Valley – which is located just 10 km from the hotel – there is a well-stocked supermarket where you can find anything.
SPECTACULAR BEACHES, REALLY CARIBBEAN
The island’s beaches are one most beautiful of the other: we loved Shoal Bay East – probably the most beautiful beach on the island – Cove Bay, Rendezvous Bay, Meads Bay, Savannah Bay and Shoal Bay West. Some beaches are equipped, in particular on the most beautiful beach on the island, Shoal Bay East you can rent deck chairs and umbrellas (two chairs and an umbrella cost 10US $ per day). On this beach there are also some restaurants and fast food. The beaches of Shoal Bay East, Cove Bay and Rendezvous Bay are among the most suitable for children with shallow and calm water. In addition to swimming in the warm Caribbean waters, other activities that children like a lot are walking in search of shells and running at breakneck speed along the long beaches of the island.
Andrea’s impact with the local population is wonderful, traveling with a small child opens all doors. Andrea becomes the mascot of all the hotel staff. When we are on the beach or around the island everyone smiles and offers us their help. Traveling with a small child shows us the good side of people who are all much more available to us. At first we were hesitant, to go so far with a small child. But then we realized that it is truly a wonderful experience. Absolutely to do.